Pink glove dance

Video competition to raise awareness of National Breast Cancer Month

By William K. Alcorn


St. Elizabeth Health Center staff members are dancing and wearing pink hospital gloves to raise awareness of breast cancer this month — National Breast Cancer Awareness Month — and are competing in Medline Industries’ annual national Pink Glove Dance video competition.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 and older get a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year and report any breast changes to their doctor.

Nearly 250,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States, however, close to three million breast cancer survivors will celebrate another birthday, thanks to the progress being made, ACS said.

The public chooses the Pink Glove Dance video winner by voting on Facebook. Voting runs through Oct. 26 and voters must have a Facebook account in order to vote. To vote, go to, click on “competition” at the top of the page and follow instructions.

Three winners will be announced Nov. 2. The winning organization will receive a $10,000 donation in its name to the breast-cancer charity of its choice; second place will receive $5,000 and third place, $2,000.

Set to the music of Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” the St. Elizabeth video was posted Oct. 12 on along with the videos of other participants, which Medline estimated would approach 400 from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Should the St. Elizabeth video win one of the prizes, the money will go to the hospital’s Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center, which celebrates its one-year anniversary Nov. 2, the day when the Pink Glove winners will be announced.

The anniversary celebration and open house is from 2 to 4 p.m. at the breast cancer center, 1044 Belmont Ave.

Julius Sims, a licensed practical nurse at St. Elizabeth, wrote the script and choreographed the video, which includes breast- cancer survivors showing high-tech diagnostic equipment at the Joanie Abdu Center and several hundred participants in the Panerathon 5K-10K race on Aug. 26.

Proceeds from the Panerathon benefit the Joanie Abdu Center’s future Joanie’s Promise fund. Joanie’s Promise is that all women will have access to the center. All screening expenses will be covered for any woman who demonstrates financial need, and transportation will be provided for any woman who requires it.

Sims, of Youngstown, said it was more difficult to pull together this year’s Pink Glove video than 2011’s project because the 2012 video filmed segments in several places. He is studying to be a registered nurse at Mercy College of Ohio: St. Elizabeth Campus.

Sims, along with the hospital’s media services department, edited the hours of footage shot to the final 3- to 4-minute video.

“We had such a great time doing the video last year that we decided to do it every year,” said Linda Smith, St. Elizabeth Health Center clinical educator of surgical/perioperative services, and one of the video’s organizers.

“It was well worth the time and energy to promote breast cancer awareness. And really, it was so much fun that it hardly seems like a big project, just a great time celebrating awareness, survival and friendship,” said Smith of Ellwood City, Pa.

Juli Dulay, of Hubbard, who also participated in the 2011 video, said that in addition to raising awareness about breast cancer the video is meant to be uplifting and show that people do survive.

Registered nurse Liz McConnahey of Beloit, operating room manager, got a show business lesson. “My part of the dance got edited out,” she smiled ruefully. “I participated at the Panerathon by walking and passing out pink gloves.”

“It’s fantastic,” McConnahey said of the video. “It’s full of energy and entertaining and fun, and the survivors introducing the technology puts a nice spin on it,” she said.

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